Outdoor Kitchen Mosaic Counter Top

Commissioned outdoor kitchen mosaic counter top with a sportsman theme with just a touch of Steampunk. You heard me.


Bar Front. Corrugated metal was existing.

Bar front with existing corrugated metal.

Some surfaces of this newly built outdoor BBQ kitchen were already covered in corrugated tin and the stainless BBQ, sink and utility doors were purchased when we were brought in to the project. The job of Rusty Vine was to tile the tops and front in something that matched and could also be built in the studio and delivered to site. My favorite surface for counter tops is porcelain floor tile. It looks great, cleans easily and it’s impervious to hot pans or the elements. My proposal was to create panels of broken mosaic porcelain tile on HardieBacker board using Reflex Ultra-modified mortar and custom fabricated steel trim to stiffen the panels and allow transportation. The steel was bent, welded and ground to a shiny surface in the studio and then clear powder-coated to compliment the existing stainless and tin. The breaking and reassembling of the tile allowed me to create a more natural stone look to the surface with rivers of smaller tile flowing around larger pieces that¬†were strategically placed in work areas to minimize grout lines in those places. In addition to mosaic tile, the clients collected small items and family mementos to embed in the mosaic.

Experimenting with elements to give the broken shotgun an all metal sci-fi makeover.

Experimenting with elements to give the broken shotgun an all metal sci-fi makeover.


The clients are outdoor sportsman enthusiasts so hunting and fishing items were the main theme for the inlays. One highlight item was a full broken shotgun.

This seemed like it could become a focal point to the bar, but some pieces were missing and the wooden elements needed to be replaced to better stand up to the elements.

Shotgun rebuild is close to it's final form and tiles are fitted around it.

Shotgun rebuild is close to its final form and tiles are fitted around it.

The solution we came up with was to rebuild the gun using found objects to create a sci-fi/steampunk-ish version and it came out awesome. Definitely a highlight and
conversation starter for years to come.

All the gun parts and other embedded items were heavily lacquered to give some added protection from the elements. It’s understood that all the elements of this outdoor kitchen will age and change patina over time, but the goal is for them to age together at a similar rate and become even more interesting.

This outdoor kitchen is one of a kind and reflects both the interests and aesthetics of the clients and the unique style of Rusty Vine Studio.

A full album of the process that went into making these is on Flickr here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjUxkZRd